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Common hiring mistakes and how to avoid them

Common hiring mistakes and how to avoid them

Attempting to hire someone for a job is a lot like looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right. You want someone who’s interested, compatible, and looking to stick around for a while. And just like a personal relationship, failing to conduct your employee search in a discerning way could lead to yet another uncomfortable break-up. But when it comes to business, this turnover can also be very costly. Avoid the following hiring mistakes to give you and your next employee a fighting chance at the business version of happily ever after.

Rushing into it

Sometimes the first hiring mistake is thinking you need a new employee when you really don’t. Even before you start collecting resumes, it’s a good idea to thoroughly assess what your actual needs are. Can the work be divided up among existing employees? Can it be outsourced? Or perhaps internal procedures could be streamlined or adjusted to alleviate the existing workload.

Alternatively, have you considered hiring or promoting from within the organization? You don’t want to promote or hire based solely on seniority, but if a current employee has the skills and drive to address the company’s needs, your solution is already in front of you. Plus, promoting and hiring from within boosts employee morale and loyalty by showing that you value their contributions and potential.

Fluffy job descriptions

Assessing your hiring needs will also help you home in on an accurate and thorough job description. Vague job descriptions that contain more fluff than substance help no one. You’ll get candidates who have no real interest in the actual job, and you’ll end up wasting a lot of time.

Think about what the job truly entails. Consult other employees to figure out what skills and characteristics are most important in a future hire. A well-written job description will help you attract the right people and set realistic expectations going forward.

Failing to get the word out effectively

Another recruiting pitfall is failing to reach your target pool of candidates. It’s easy to cast either too wide or too narrow a net. That vague, fluffy job description, posted to every job board on the internet will leave you drowning in resumes. Conversely, relying on word-of-mouth, your local paper, or that poorly maintained job-search website will leave you unsatisfied with the quantity and quality of interested job seekers. Figure out your target pool of candidates and use a reliable service to reach them. Ahem.

Stealing the interview spotlight

The interview process can either be extremely fruitful or riddled with hiring mistakes. One thing to remember is that while the interview is not all about you, you should come well-prepared. For example:

  • Don’t skip the phone interview—it can help narrow your search and save time.
  • Prepare questions that go beyond the resume and canned inquiries everyone expects. Ask effective behavioral questions about how the candidate solved problems in the past, and ask how they might deal with an actual, specific issue your team is facing now.
  • Listen more than you talk, and pay attention to how the prospective employee communicates.

Talking excessively squanders your opportunity to hear from the candidate. And asking predictable, softball questions like, “Tell me about yourself,” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?” may reveal some of your candidates’ interviewing skills, but you won’t learn whether they have the actual skills and talent necessary to join your team.

Turning a blind eye to background checks

Once you’ve gone through interviews and found the right candidate, it can be tempting to rush through the final steps and shoot out that offer letter. But wouldn’t it be a huge disappointment if, three months in, you find out your candidate lied about their degree, work history, or criminal record? Call those references and run that background check. But be sure to comply with all new local, state, and federal background check laws, like those limiting the use of criminal records in the hiring process.

Get help avoiding costly hiring mistakes

You can’t keep going to that one bar, wearing a “marry me” sign, and expecting to find the one. Similarly, you can’t rely on unproven or outdated strategies for finding new employees. These both end in regret. Don’t let hiring mistakes waste time and money. To get help hiring the right people for your company, check out Monster Hiring Solutions today for expert advice and proven hiring strategies.